If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.*
Table of Contents
Food has provided a prime vehicle for the transmission of diseases from the earliest history of the human species. The regulation of food sources, processing, manufacture, storage, transport, packaging, marketing, and handling represent fundamental responsibilities of community health agencies in cooperation with agricultural and other sectors. The rates of salmonellosis and some other enteric diseases transmitted by food have increased in North America while most other communicable diseases have declined. This suggests declining effectiveness of food protection and community control of its food supply. This chapter is designed to acquaint you with objectives, principles, and methods of food and vector control.
The chapter reviews some history and epidemiology specifically applicable to food-borne and vector-borne diseases. Some case studies are presented to give a more concrete understanding of how outbreaks can be studied to locate the source of infection. Vector control strategies are included in this chapter because most vectors of disease affect community health through food supplies, and the control of some other vectors depends on the hygienic management of food supplies, including animals, that provide reservoirs and intermediate hosts for some vectors.
Alarms Sound Over Biopharming.(The Atlanta Journal Constitution, November 17, 2003) - Modified cornhusks in a Nebraska grain elevator have tainted the crop in Nebraska. This has raised doubts about the government's ability to protect the nation's crop from genetically engineered crops to produce drugs and chemicals.
Standards Now Define Organic Food. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 21, 2002) - National standards have been instituted to control how organic food is produced. The standards provide a clear definition of what organic means, which includes food cannot be grown with petroleum or sewage sludge-based fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, irradiation, bioengineered organism, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
Study: Cleaning House Reduces Lead. CHICAGO (AP, Mar. 2, 1999) - Keeping a clean house can significantly reduce the amount of toxic lead that children absorb into their blood, according to a study published this month in Pediatrics. Researchers followed 99 urban children with high levels of lead in their blood for nine to 15 months after dividing their families into two groups. In one group, the children's caretakers received education and free housecleaning to reduce lead levels in their homes; in the other, caretakers received education only. The cleaning removed dust containing lead particles, presumably from peeling paint, which was found in most of the children's homes. By the end of the study, lead levels among the 46 children whose homes had been cleaned fell an average of 17%. Children whose homes had been cleaned the most - 20 or more times - averaged a 34 % blood-lead reduction. Blood-lead levels among the other children did not change significantly. For full story, go to March 1999 issue of Pediatrics.
USDA OKs Irradiation of Red Meat. WASHINGTON (AP, Feb. 12, 1999) - The Agriculture Department approved irradiation of red meat Friday as a way to curb food-borne illnesses, offering the industry another way to improve food safety. When it comes to food safety, there is no silver bullet, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said in announcing the action in Charlotte, N.C. Used in conjunction with other science-based prevention efforts, irradiation can provide consumers with an added measure of protection. Glickman made the announcement while speaking before a meeting of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Under USDA's proposed rule, which will be published in the Federal Register within 10 days, radiation would be permitted for treatment of refrigerated or frozen uncooked meat.
New Director of FDA Food Safety Initiative.(Jan. 8, 1999). Morris E. Potter, DVM was named the Director of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Safety Initiative -- an important part of the Clinton Administration's comprehensive food safety effort to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness. Dr. Potter will report directly to Joseph A. Levitt, the Director of theFDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition. Most recently, Dr. Potter served as the Assistant Deputy Director for Foodborne Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Condiment Could Ward Off Bacteria.WASHINGTON (AP, Jan. 3, 1999) - Horseradish may do more than just spice up your favorite sandwich. Scientists in Oklahoma believe the condiment can also serve as a food preservative, guarding against a host of contaminants. Both horseradish and mustard oil contain the pungent chemical allyl isothiocyanate. Mustard oil has 93% AITC, but has a milder flavor than horseradish, which has 60% AITC. Because of the presence of the chemical, both condiments can help fight off listeria, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and other food pathogens, according to the work of Henry Fleming, a food technologist with the Agricultural Research Service and Oklahoma State University food chemist Brian Shofran.
What is Organic? (International Herald Tribune, April 1, 1998). Americans have an unquenchable thirst to know what is in their food yet once they have the information they tend to ignore the information and eat whatever they like!
Destruction Justified, Canadians Say. (Globe and Mail March 22, 1996)
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Poisoning by an Illegally Imported Chinese Rodenticide Containing
Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine --- New York City, 2002.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52(10), March
Illnesses Associated with Occupational Use of Flea-Control Products -- California, Texas, and Washington, 1989-1997. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48 (21), June 4, 1999.
Recommendations for the Use of Lyme Disease Vaccine: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48 (RR-7), June 4, 1999. http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4807a1.htm
Appendix Methods Used for Creating a National Lyme Disease Risk Map. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48 (RR-7), June 4, 1999. http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4807a2.htm
Update: Outbreak of Nipah Virus --- Malaysia and Singapore, 1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48(16), April 30, 1999. http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00057012.htm
Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis. -- Ontario, Canada, May 1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 1, 1998/Vol. 47/No. 38.
All of the following articles are found in the September 1/98 volume of the Official Journal of the America Occupational Health Nurse 46(9).
Mock, Victoria. Breast Cancer and Fatigue: Issues for the Workplace, p. 425.
Linnan, L. A., Fava, J. L., Thompson, B., Emmons, K., Basen-Engquist, K., Probart, C., Hunt, M. K., & and Heimendinger, J. (1999). Measuring Participatory Strategies: Instrument Development For Worksite Populations. HEALTH EDUCATION RESEARCH 14(3): 371-386.
Milton, Doris Alternative and Complementary Therapies: Integration into Cancer Care, p 454.
On October 21, 1997, the Southeast Texas Poison Center was contacted by a local physician requesting information about treatment for crew members of a cargo ship docked in Freeport, Texas, who were ill with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle weakness. This report summarizes an investigation of this outbreak by the Texas Department of Health (TDH), which indicated that 17 crew members experienced ciguatera fish poisoning resulting from eating a contaminated barracuda.
Trichinellosis Outbreaks --- Northrhine-Westfalia, Germany, 1998--1999.Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports 48(23), June 18 1999.
From November 1998 through January 1999, 52 cases of trichinellosis were identified by the public health surveillance systems in 11 cities and districts of the state of Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW), Germany. In comparison, zero to 10 cases were reported annually in Germany during 1987-1997. This report summarizes the investigation of these cases, which indicated the existence of two simultaneous outbreaks--one caused by contaminated ground meat and the other by a commercially prepared raw smoked sausage.
1. Milestones in food and vector control. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FDC) Act is the primary federal legislation that assures Americans of foods that are pure and wholesome, safe to eat, and produced under sanitary conditions. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal body charged with the responsibility to enforce this act. Ask a representative of a regional FDA office or the local health department to discuss with the class current problems it is confronting in its efforts to protect the public food supply.
2. Botulism case studies. Botulism, salmonella, and other forms of food poisoning can occur when foods are grown, prepared, and packaged, or stored under unfavorable conditions. Obtain a recent issue of the FDA Consumer from your library. Identify and discuss actions taken by the FDA against food manufacturers.
3. Inspections. Invite a health department sanitarian to class for discussion of local food establishment regulations. How are inspections conducted and what are common violations? Visit a local grocery store, fast food restaurant, or food processing plant and determine what strategies are employed to ensure wholesome products for the consumer. Interview a pest exterminator. Ask what common conditions occur in local food establishments requiring these services. What preventive measures are most helpful in vector control?